I ran across a new website the other day while browsing one of the bulletin boards that I frequent, and I wanted to share it with those of you who are running your own businesses from home, or for those of you who are considering doing so.
The website, WAHM Spotlight (http://wahmspotlight.blogspot.com)
spotlights mothers who are running home based businesses. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term WAHM it stands for Work at Home Moms). Businesses are featured so that readers can meet the faces behind the names of the businesses, showcase their own businesses, and hopefully sell products in the process. Says owner Marie Sarmiento, "I developed the site to provide inspiration and motivation for both WAHMs and moms who wish to start their own home business."
A mother is interviewed each Monday in the Monday Spotlight. The interviews feature advice on getting started and information on how to juggle the act between work and family, which is a challenge that all working mothers face. Says Marie, "Meeting WAHMs through the Monday Spotlight interviews help us realize that we are not alone in facing these challenges."
In addition to the Monday Spotlight interview, the website features a Window-Shopping Wednesday and Friday´s Featured Five offer, where mothers can showcase their products and readers can support work at home businesses by purchasing items from the mother-owned companies.
The idea behind WAHM Spotlight came as Marie was reading interviews about designers and their crafters. While she was interested in starting her own at-home business, she was also interested to find out how a work at home mother could juggle everything: the home, the family, the business, and personal time. She sat down with her sketchbook and outlined the ideas behind WAHM Spotlight.
Marie is the mother of two sons, ages 4 years and 20 months. When asked how she juggles home and family, she says, "I do find that I need to make rules for myself, so I devote certain days of the week to my boys (playdates, fun day trips) and on other days I run errands (grocery shopping, laundry, etc.)."
Though she will check emails briefly during the day, she doesn´t work until her two boys are in bed. "I´m lucky to have a husband who supports me in what I do, and he´s been a huge help, sometimes adjusting his schedule to accommodate mine, especially when I have a deadline or if I have to work on the weekends."
Marie finds mothers who are interested in posting on the Friday preview section by posting about her website on several forums that she browses regularly. Each Tuesday the theme for the Friday´s Featured Five is posted, and she sometimes also seeks out mothers and asks if she can feature their products on her site.
She does not yet pay for advertising for her site, but by participating in forums she can get the word out for free. She keeps her website address in her signature line and also advertises by exchanging links with other WAHMs and leaving comments on blogs that she visits.
Marie offers this bit of advice for mothers who are considering opening their own home-based business. "In the years I’ve searched high and low for “that perfect” work at home job, I’ve learned that as long that you’re passionate about it – whether it’s designing jewelry or selling a product you truly believe in – with hard work and lots of determination, success will find you. But to find that “perfect home-business,” you have to be willing to try different things you’re interested in. Then once you get that feeling that “…hmm…this might be it…” and you truly believe in it, you have to just jump right in and do it!"